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Application of the Faustmann principle to a short-rotation tree species: an analytical tool for economists, with reference to Kenya and leucaena

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Abstract

Attention has increasingly focussed on fast-growing trees as a potential means of slowing high rates of deforestation and as a source of renewable energy. Unfortunately, the analytical tools for determining economic tractability of tree-growing projects lags behind the popular support to implement them. This paper brings the methodology of the Faustmann Principle, which was established for use with longer growing species, to bear on leucaena, a short-rotation, leguminous tree crop. The principle incorporates biological and economic parameters to derive a function relating the present value of net revenue to rotation length. Additionally, a method of incorporating secondary benefits, such as nitrogen fixation, is demonstrated. Results from the model are applied to Kenya. Research on agro-climatic zones in Kenya is used to indicate the potential volume of leucaena production.

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Stone, S.W., Kyle, S.C. & Conrad, J.M. Application of the Faustmann principle to a short-rotation tree species: an analytical tool for economists, with reference to Kenya and leucaena. Agroforest Syst 21, 79–90 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00704928

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Key words

  • Faustmann principle
  • bioeconomics
  • dynamic optimization
  • leucaena production
  • Kenya